Chennai City set to announce collaborations with Finnish side JS Hercules

According to team owner Rohit Ramesh, four players from Chennai City – Soosairaj, Nandhakumar, Edwin and Beautin – will fly to Oulu in June to train with the Finnish side.

Europe bound? The Chennai City FC - JS Hercules partnership could see young footballers travel to Europe for training.   -  K. Pichumani

Chennai City FC, which finished eighth in the recently concluded I-League, and the Finnish third-tier side, JS Hercules (Oulu), are set to announce a series of on- and off-field collaborations.

Mikko Perala, Chairman of JS Hercules, and Panu Halonen, a board member of JS Hercules, who are in the city, discussed a range of issues with Rohit Ramesh, the owner of CCFC, on Wednesday.

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According to Rohit, four players from Chennai City – Soosairaj, Nandhakumar, Edwin and Beautin – will fly to Oulu in June to train with the Finnish side. The players might find an opportunity to play in Europe if they are able to impress Hercules’ coaching staff. The Finnish transfer window opens on July 10.

Speaking about the partnership, Rohit said: “Hercules is an English-speaking club. So, there will be no language barrier for our players. This is a long-term partnership and we will like to learn from each other. It is also an opportunity for us to learn about the administrative side of football from Hercules.”

Perala acknowledges that football generates only modest interest in Finland, but that does not deter him from dreaming big. “Ours is a small club. That doesn’t prevent us from doing big things. We can achieve a lot with the right partner,” he said.

Perala has run a programme to scout for talent in Africa with Theo de Jong, who represented the Netherlands in the 1974 World Cup. “We have talent scouts in West Africa for more than 10 years. We have unearthed a lot of talent that have gone on to play for clubs in Europe and Asia,” Perala said.

Halonen said a beginning has been made and both parties will benefit from the partnership.

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